KMS has received numerous inquiries regarding Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) during shortages amid the COVID-19 response. We are working with federal, state, and local officials to address your questions and provide accurate responses given rapidly changing circumstances. We will post the latest PPE information here and in our periodic COVID-19 updates as we receive it, as well as respond to your individual questions by email.
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March 26 — PPE federal update
Although the situation is gradually improving countrywide, problems with obtaining adequate supplies of PPE persist. The coronavirus “hotspots” in the U.S. are receiving the most supplies, with low incidence states like Kansas still experiencing severe shortages in clinics, hospitals, and other facilities. KDHE officials are pleading with federal agencies to quickly improve both the supply and distribution of PPE to Kansas health care providers.
In conversations with the state adjutant general, KMS has been advised that physician practices should first call their local emergency manager for PPE supplies. Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) regional contact information is available here.
Providers may additionally contact their regular distributors. If distributors cannot fulfill an order, providers should then contact their county public health officials to request supplies from potential local stockpiles. A directory of all Kansas county health departments is available here. Providers still in search of PPE supplies may also contact KDHE officials to submit a request (request form available here).
CDC's guidance on Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE during COVID-19 Response.
Recently issued KDHE guidance documents are available for Kansas hospitals for optimizing PPE:
- Strategies for Optimizing Eye Protection - Updated 3/23/2020
- Strategies for Optimizing Isolation Gowns - Updated 3/23/2020
- Strategies for Optimizing Facemasks - Updated 3/23/2020
FEMA has begun coordinating PPE requests and delivery. Contact information at FEMA for PPE is expected to be available soon, and KMS will disseminate to members immediately.
March 24 — PPE information from KDHE
During a conference call with the Kansas Hospital Association, KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman provided the following information regarding PPE.
Q: What is the administration doing to ensure there is sufficient PPE for health care providers in Kansas?
A: We are doing several things. Begging and pleading with the feds to increase the numbers in our shipments but also the speed in which they get that to us. We are working on other avenues to get supplies and equipment (in and outside the state) including the private sector. We did an executive order to allow motor carriers to bypass the weight limit in order to be able to move more supplies. We have been scouring for supplies/PPE from universities and colleges (many have this in their labs) to gather it and try to get it to hospitals. We will have more conversations with state and federals staff today on equipment and testing.
Additional PPE equipment has been received and Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) is working on distributing those. KDEM regional contact information is available here. CDC's guidance on Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE during COVID-19 Response.
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More information on PPE will be posted here and in KMS COVID-19 email updates as it becomes available.